D. Andrew “Andy” Beal grew up in Lansing, MI. His mother worked in state government; his father was a mechanical engineer. Siblings include an older brother and a younger sister. As a teenager, Mr. Beal began earning money by fixing and reselling used televisions with the help of his uncle. While attending high school he also installed apartment security systems. He started a business moving houses and also managed rental properties.
Andy Beal excelled on his high school debate team at Lansing Sexton High School, enrolled at Michigan State University and began studying business administration. At age 19, he bought a house in Lansing for $6,500 and started leasing it out for $119 per month.
He became known for buying properties, renovating them and selling them. In 1976, he attended an auction of federal properties in Washington, DC and bid on an apartment building in Waco, TX. His winning bid of $217,500 turned into more than $1 million three years later when he sold the building. In 1976, he also enrolled at Baylor University in Waco, TX, but left school to focus on his business endeavors.
In 1981, Mr. Beal and a partner bought two housing project buildings in disrepair, the Brick Towers in Newark, NJ, for $25,000. Two years later they sold the repaired buildings for $3.2 million to a private investor.